In addition to mental illness, my son Evan suffers from severe ADHD. One of Evan’s caregivers, and our friend, recently forwarded me an article on parenting tips and techniques for children with ADHD. It is amazing how many of the suggestions apply to all of us.
Whether you are a parent or a professional, here are 5 strategies that will make your life a whole lot easier. If you’re a parent AND a professional, you can’t afford not to do these!
1. Understand the power of positive. Keeping a positive attitude sets an example and sends a message to everyone around you. Don’t forget to keep things in perspective. Try not to sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff) and be willing to make compromises.
2. Take care of yourself. If you aren’t healthy, you can’t be any help to others. Exercise, eat well (food can and does affect our mental state), and get plenty of rest. Make sure you take plenty of breaks and find ways to reduce stress. Things like decreasing television time, eliminating caffeine, creating a quiet time in the evening, and just having some down time will help considerably. Spend time playing outside and enjoying nature. Research supports its importance.
3. Set clear expectations and boundaries. Make sure people in your life understand your expectations. Be clear, simple, and consistent. Remember, you train people how to treat you.
4. Provide positive reinforcement and feedback. We repeat behavior that gets attention. A smile or positive comment goes a long way. Try to provide praise for the positive and be constructive for the areas that need work. Rather than tell people what NOT to do, tell them what you would like them to do instead.
5. Choose your friends wisely. We are social creatures and need interaction with others. However, it is important to choose the right people to socialize with. Try to minimize interaction with those that are negative or behave in ways you are trying to avoid. We tend to model the behavior of the people we spend the most time with.
Whether you are parenting a child with ADHD, or dealing with one in the office, try these tips and strategies. Please feel free to add to the list!
Additional articles and resources for help with ADHD:
(The opinions expressed in the above referenced articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the author.)
AND THE WINNER IS….
Last week there was a competition for the best “positive wordsmithing” of the statements below. While there were several great responses, Charles DiTullio did an amazing job of turning them around and won the behavioral assessment. Here are the original sentences with Charles’ responses. Thanks to everyone who contributed and great job, Charles!
1. Why can’t you help around the house more?
If we work together to knock out the house work, we’ll have more time to relax
and enjoy some quality time together.
2. You said you would take care of this. It’s still not done?
We’re approaching your deadline for this project; let’s take a quick review and
identify where we can advance our progress.
3. I don’t know why Bambi said that. She always gives the wrong information.
I have not discussed this development with Bambi; let’s all sit down, put
everything on the table, and ensure we’re all on the same page.
4. What do you want me to do about it? It’s not even my job.
This is a good observation/idea; let’s pull in all the team members and run it up
the flag pole.
5. Will you stop being so negative? You’re really bringing me down!
I understand your pessimism, let’s review the issue and see where you/we can
have the most, if any, impact.